At 7-foot-3, does Kristaps Porzingis face a tougher, longer road to recovery?

From ESPN - February 13, 2018

Kristaps Porzingis' ACL surgery is complete. The New York Knicks' star forward had his procedure Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.

So when will Porzingis return to the court? That's unclear.

The expectation, at this point, is that Porzingis will be out for at least 10 months, sources tell ESPN. But a more specific timetable wont be available until Porzingis begins rehab.

What will that rehabilitation process look like? And will Porzingis be able to return to his pre-injury form?

To provide some answers, we turned to ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell. Below, Bell provides insight on those topics and others related to Porzingis' recovery. (Bell, to be clear, is speaking from a general perspective with regards to Porzingis type of injury; she is not speaking specifically of Porzingis situation because she has not treated him).

What could Porzingis' potential timeline for recovery look like?

Bell: "On average, NBA athletes return to play in the range of 10-12 months following ACL reconstruction. Its important to note that the specifics of the injury including, most importantly, whether its an isolated [ACL-only] injury or not [meaning multiple structures involved such as meniscus, cartilage, or other ligaments] will dictate the complexity of the surgery and the complexity and pace of rehab. (Note: Porzingis injury is believed to be ACL-only.) The more there is to address in surgery, the more complex the rehab. Depending on the details of the surgery, the rehab process can be deliberately slowed at certain points to protect tissues that are still healing even if the player feels he is progressing well.

"There are other factors that can potentially influence the rehab process including the athletes ability to heal, his adherence to the rehab program, prior injury, anatomical variants, muscular imbalances or strength deficits, neuromuscular control. There are also the specific demands of the position, the athletes role on the team and so on. When you start to consider all the different factors that have the potential to influence an athletes recovery, it becomes easier to appreciate the reluctance for an organization to issue a firm timetable based on a diagnosis alone."

Could this injury impact Porzingis athleticism at all?


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